Worn down front four teeth from grinding/smaller teeth. Dental bonding/veneers? (Photo)

I am self concious about my teeth, I had braces in high school. Over the years with stress, grinding, clenching I ended up with short teeth :( I want to do the cheaper option of dental bonding on 4 front teeth. My teeth are small to begin with because of genetics. I'm worried if I get dental bonding the material will wear down. My dentist said we will use a night guard. Dental bonding is $188 per tooth and veneers for $344 per tooth. I have 80 % coverage. To be in debt for veneers or not

Doctor Answers 2

I think 6-8 Porcelain Veneers would probably be best... but be wary of coverage

I think it's great that your lower teeth are fairly straight already. As for the top, I would agree that bonding is not really a good option because composite fillings are basically "plastic" and chip easily. You will also notice that the surface of the bonding will begin to wear after a few years and you will begin to see the where the bondings ends.

Based on your smile line, 6-8 Porcelain Veneers would probably be a good idea because they are much more durable, basically don't wear, don't stain, and have margins that are nearly invisible. Your treating dentist will have to determine how many teeth you will need to treat in order to have the best result. Treating 4 teeth is possible, but will leave you with canines that don't match your front teeth in both shape and color. For that reason, I would recommend at least 6, but up to 8 in order to get a harmonious "look" and color for all teeth that are visible when you smile. 

Do keep in mind however that Veneers are an irreversible procedure, as we have to remove some tooth structure from the cheek-surfaces and biting surfaces of the teeth in order to make room for our material. However, compared to the reduction necessary for a crown, it is very minimal. For a crown, up to 60% of the visible part of a tooth needs to be removed. For this reason, I would try to avoid a crown unless absolutely necessary.

As for insurance, I think you can probably expect no coverage. While many insurances have contracted rates for dental work with participating dentists, every insurance that I know of WILL NOT cover veneers unless the dentist can prove that you "need" a veneer a treat a specific dental problem (ie. large chips). I think it would be a stretch for most insurances to cover this case as it appears to be a "cosmetic" procedure, which is something insurances don't cover. Please ask your dentist and confirm that insurance will indeed cover this procedure.

After having said all that, I would say this: Don't shortchange yourself by choosing a lesser less-esthetic option. Save up what you need and go for the Veneers, as the esthetic result is superior. You deserve to have a great and long-lasting smile

Honolulu Dentist

#Veneers or #crowns would be best #DrSoftTouch

Hello there,
I would not recommend bonding for your case. While composite bonding can be used to improve the appearance of teeth, it chips and stains easily. The best option for you would be at least 8 veneers and/or crowns across the top, rather than just 4, and a nightguard is an absolute must. See an experienced cosmetic dentist for a complete evaluation to determine your options.  The best indicator to determine if the dentist is going to give you the results that he or she claims, is by viewing before and after photos of his/her patients that have undergone similar or the same procedures. Good luck and I hope this helps. Follow me if you have more questions.

Sarah Thompson, DMD
St. Louis, MO area (O'Fallon, IL)
Real Self 100

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.